Ex-Lehman Bros. real estate honcho appears to be 733 Park Avenue unit buyer

By Katherine Clarke | February 15, 2013 04:45PM

The mystery buyer behind a deal for a penthouse duplex at 733 Park Avenue owned by the estate of famed financier Herbert Allen may be another Wall Street executive. Michael Gelband, a former Lehman Brothers real estate honcho and hedge fund mogul, is the purchasing entity’s trustee, The Real Deal has learned. It was not immediately clear if the trust, named the Park Avenue Family Trust, was formed on behalf of Gelband or another beneficiary.

While Gelband’s name was not available in public records, the Short Hills, N.J. address listed for the trust is the same as that provided by Gelband on his resignation letter tendered to Lehman in 2007, as well as the registered address of Katzband Ventures, an LLC where Gelband is the principal.

The deal for the duplex apartment, which spans the 30th and 31st floors, closed January 30, public records show. The property sold for its full asking price of $21 million.

Barbara Fox and Brad Loe of Fox Residential had the listing. It was not immediately clear who represented the family trust in the deal.

The 4,250-square-foot unit, which comes with 1,250 square feet of landscaped terraces, has three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, The Real Deal previously reported. It also features a wood-paneled library, a formal dining room and a recently renovated French country kitchen, according to the listing.

Gelband was responsible for commercial and residential real estate at Lehman before departing the firm in 2008. He was credited in the press as having warned top Lehman chiefs of the risks of packaging collateralized mortgages and selling them off. He has since moved to hedge fund Millenium Management. He was not immediately available to comment on the deal or confirm his involvement.

Allen was a principal of Allen & Company, a boutique investment bank which arranged some of Wall Street’s earliest corporate takeovers. He reportedly bought the apartment for $526,500 in the 1970s.

UPDATED: In an earlier version of this story, The Real Deal said that Michael Gelband appeared to be the buyer of the penthouse at 733 Park Avenue. In fact, he’s a trustee of the trust which purchased the apartment